One of the famous Five Mountains in China; Top Ten Tourist Destinations in China
7:00-19:00 in peak season
8:30-17:00 in off season
Mount Huashan (Chinese: 华山; pinyin: Huà Shān), called as “western great mountain", is one of the famous Five Great Mountains in China. Mt. Huashan is located in Weinan City and Huayin City of Shaanxi Province, 120 kilometers east of Xian, south of the Qinling Mountains, north of Yellow River and Wei River, guarding the portal from the Great Northwest to Central Plains. Mt. Huashan is in the first batch of national key scenic spots and one of four top ten tourist destinations; in China. As China's top ten famous mountains, it was rated as the AAAAA National Scenic Spot by the National Tourism Administration in 2010.
Mt. Huashan Facts
Situated in Huayin County, Mt. Huashan is some 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) east of Xian City in Shaanxi Province. This mountain is celebrated for its majestic breath-taking crags, steep paths, beautiful scenery and it is said to be the most precipitous mountain in the world. Mt. Huashan is huge complete granite. Its history can be traced back 120 million years before.
Mt. Huashan is known as "The Number One Precipitous Mountain under Heaven". The mountain is one of China Five Sacred Taoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance. The mountain has five main peaks, of which the tallest is the South Peak at 2160 m. This peak also had a well-deserved reputation as having the World most dangerous hiking trail.
It is a common saying that "Mt. Huashan has only one path since ancient times". Only one narrow and zigzag path, 15 kilometers long and stretching from south to north, is available in Mt. Huashan.
Famous Attractions on Mount Huashan
There are mainly five peaks of Mount Huashan.
• East Peak (Facing Sun Peak): It is 2096.2 m bove the sea level, as one of the main peaks of Mount Huashua, seated at east. There is a platform on the summit of the peak, where is a good place to see the sunrise, with wild field of vision. People name the terrace "Chaoyang Terrace" or “Facing Sun Terrace", and the East Peaks was name Chaoyang Peak, or Facing Sun Peak.
• South Peak (Landing Wild Geese Peak): The altitude of South Peak is 2154.9 meters. It is also the highest peak among all the Five Mountains. On the south peak there are Laozi peak, Chinese alchemy and eight-trigram pool, these sites are associated with the legend of Lao tzu. And there is “heavenly southern gate” in the cliff to the east. On the south peak also there is the golden temple built in the Ming dynasty, also known as the Baidi temple to worship Mount Huashan god.
• West Peak(Lotus FlowerPeak): It seated at west with an altitude of 2082m. As the giant rock on the peak looks like petals of lotus, ancient literati also called it Lotus Peak and Furong Peak.
• North Peak (CloudTerrace Peak): It is 1614.9 meters high above the sea leave. The North Peak is solitary and imposing to the sky. As there is a Ruoyun Terrace, it is also name Cloud Terrace Peak. Located at the north part of Mt. Huashan, the North Peak has White Cloud Peak at north, Liangzhang Hill at east, approaches East Peak, South Peak and West Peak and connects with Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice and Laojun Plough Ditch. The summit is joint by several groups of rocks. On the tiptop, there is a terrace, Yiyun Pavilion, which is a great place to see the other 3 main peaks and Black Dragon Ridge. In 1996, the cable car opened to tourists. There are many attractions on the peak, such as Zhenwu Temple, Jiaogong Stone Chamber, Changchun Stone Chamber, Jade Maiden Window, Xianyougong, Shentu Cliff, Yiyun Pavilion, Iron Cow Terrace and so on.
• Middle Peak(Jade Maiden Peak): The peak is 2037.8 m high above the sea level. It is a small peak at west side of the East Peak. In ancient time, it was a part of East Peak, but now, people rank it as one of the main peak of Mt. Huashan. Heavenly Stairs in the north of Middle Peak, and was built in 1984, is the shortcut from the Yinfeng pavilion to the East Peak via East Stone Building, and has become a new risk Mt. Huashan road. Heavenly Stairs are more than 10 meters high, vertical to the ground in an angle of 90 degrees, protruding in the upper cliff. Three ladders are suspended for visitors to climb in line, and because the body can't get close to the walls, with the rope swing it is easy to shake, making people feel like sailing clouds and fogs in the heaven therefore it is called Heavenly Stairs. With Heavenly Stairs opening, the climbing time from Middle Peak to the East peak has shortened, and the interest of adventure has increased, since it is open, many of the tourists are ready to climb here, and want to have a try. Next to the Heavenly Stair there is a metal artificial stairs, which is convenient for visitors to climb up and down.
Most Dangerous Hiking Trails
The Sky Plank Road: Out of the South Gate, there is the most dangerous hiking trail "sky plank." The plank has three sessions. Upper section: South Gate to the west of Chaoyuan Cave, 20 m long, 2 feet wide; Mid-section: the way down between the cliffs, like hanging ladder; Lower-Section: go west from mid-section, there is holes on the cliff with piles.
Canglong Mountain: The terrace on the mountain is only 2 feet wide, with cliffs at each side. The top and bottom elevation difference is about 500 meters, with slope of more than 45 degrees.
Mt. Huashan Valley Hiking Trail:It is the ancient Hushan Road, including all the attractions of Mt. Huashan. The most fun of climing Mount is overcoming hardships and dangers while appreciating the scenery along the way. This train is still the classic mountaineering route and best choice for climbing Mt. Huashan.
• Mt. Huashan Three Risks
Mt. Huashan Three Risks is located at the passageway from Yuquan Temple to the North Peak, which are Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice and Laojun Plough Ditch. Qiangchichuang has 370 steps, hover ingon the cliffs. Baichi Valley has cliffs and one big rock in mingle. And then, passing by the Fairy Bridge, Fuwei Cliff and Black Tiger Ridge, you will see the third risk, Laojunli Ditch, which is very deep, with 570 steps.
There are over 210 attractions on Mt. Huashan, in addition of the above spots, such as Xiaqi Pavilion, Huayue Plam, Huixin Rock, Yuquan Temple, Qingkepin, Jinshuo Pass, etc.
Tips for Climbing Mt. Huashan
1. It takes about 24 hrs to hike all the five peaks and about 5 to 6 hrs by cable car. There are hotels on the East Peak.
2. Climbing Route
Traditional route: First day, enter from Huashan Gate at 9 o’clock, passing Qianchichuang, Baichi Valley.
The second day, climb to the Chaoyang Platform on East Peak to watch the sunrise. And then from East Peak to Yaozifanshen, Xiaqi Pavilion, and to the other side of East Peak. Hiking to South Peak, and passing South Gate to see the Sky Plank. Back from the Sky plank and walk down South Peak to West Peak. And then, from West Peak to Middle Peak, climb down. On the way, you will see many spots. At about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, you will back to Huashan Gate.
Simple Route: taking cable car to North Peak, and hiking to East Peak, then South Peak, West Peak and Middle Peak, climbing down the peak.
Departure from hotels and between 08:00-10:00 taking a bus to Mt.Huashan scenic area parking lot and buying the tickets takes about 15 minutes, and then transfer to the scenic spot car 15 minutes to take the cable car (as the tourist season could be waiting a long time to take the cable car for1 to 3 hours), a cable car ride in 10 minutes to the North Peak. Canglong Mountain(40 minutes)—Cloud Terrace Peak (50 minutes) —Gold Lock Pass (20 minutes) —Sun-Facing Cave (15 minutes) —Facing Sun Peak (East Peak) (5 minutes) —Southern Heavenly Gate (South Peak) (35 minutes) —Face Upward Pool (25 minutes) —West Peak (35 minutes) —Middle Peak (15 minutes) — Canglong Mountain (20 minutes) ridge—Macaque (30 minutes)—North Peak (5 minutes) —the ropeway (2 minutes) —foot of the Mt.Huashan (10 minutes).
Most of the guests won’t go up after arriving Gold Lock Pass, Gold Lock Pass is a fork road, along the left road lead to the East Peak, along the right hand lead to the West Peak, and along the middle road will reach Middle Peak, from these three peaks can walk to the South Peak, South Peak is the highest peak in Mt.Huashan.
Best Time to Visit Mt. Huashan
Best Time to Visit: April to October, which is also the peak season. The 15th of the third lunar month is the Chaoshan Festival. There will be a grand festival and celebrations.
How to Get there from Xian
1.Take bus from Xian to Mt. Huashan at Chengdong Bus Station or Xian Railway Station Square Passenger Station. The bus will drive for 2 hrs.
2. Take public bus at Xian Railway Station Square